Leon Draisaitl offers his condolences to defencemen on the other six Canadian teams forced to contend with the foot speed of Connor McDavid this shortened NHL season.
“It’s so hard to defend,” Draisaitl says of the Edmonton Oilers captain’s burst up ice. “I wouldn’t want to be that guy standing at the blue-line with him coming 1,000 miles an hour at me. He just has that gift that no one else has.”
Whether it be in practice or in games, Draisaitl and the Oilers routinely witness the magic of McDavid’s gifts.
At six-foot-three, 193 pounds, McDavid skates fast enough to garner speeding tickets in school zones. His drive to the net is relentless. His playmaking abilities sublime.
WATCH | Ranking the North division:
For the first time, all 7 Canadian teams will be in one division. Rob Pizzo predicts which four will make the playoffs. 5:47
At age 24, the Richmond Hill, Ont., native is determined improve his game this season, if that’s even possible for a player with 164 goals and 474 points in his first 354 NHL appearances.
On the eve of training camp, McDavid told reporters that his team must do a better job of keeping the puck out of the Edmonton net.
“No one’s hiding their head in the sand here,” he said at the time. “Everyone understands where we’re at.”
And he plans to lead by example in that regard.
“Offensively, I think I check off most of the boxes,” he said. “Defensively is where it’s at. It’s the little things: stopping on pucks, winning battles, hounding pucks on the forecheck. Getting involved in battles and winning faceoffs.
“It’s just rounding out that game and being solid all over the ice.”
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Canada’s seven NHL teams are playing only one another during the 56-game campaign.
Treating the fans
As such, Canadian hockey fans are in for a treat with McDavid on their tablets, smartphones, and televisions all season long — with many of his games in primetime for those in Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritimes.
“We’re all a little bit more careful against McDavid,” said Montreal centre Phillip Danault. “We all know the speed he’s got, his quick hands, quick edges.
“I don’t know how he changes directions like that, but that’s one of his strengths.”
McDavid’s many strengths took over the game last Thursday in a 5-2 victory for the Edmonton Oilers over the Vancouver Canucks. The captain dominated with a hat trick and four points.
“He was exceptional,” said Vancouver Canucks head coach Travis Green. “One of the best players in the world.”
With a game plan designed to minimize the damage inflicted by No. 97, the Canadiens limited McDavid to a lone assist Saturday night and, not coincidentally, beat the Oilers 5-1.
WATCH | Connor McDavid dominates the Canucks:
Edmonton captain Connor McDavid scores the 7th hat trick of his career as Edmonton defeats Vancouver 5-2. 1:07
Leading the charge
With the Canadiens up 1-0 in the first period, McDavid stripped the puck from Montreal forward Tyler Toffoli and roared up the ice on a breakaway.
Montreal goalie Carey Price slammed his pads shut just in time.
“You want to play against the best players in the world,” Price says. “Connor, in my opinion, is the best player in the world.
“He’s so talented, and with his speed and his hands and his vision, it’s a pleasure to share the ice with him.”
The question of who shares the ice with McDavid — on the home side — will no doubt dominate workday chats around the virtual water cooler this week in the Alberta capital.
On Saturday, McDavid’s linemate Zack Kassian missed the game due to the birth of his daughter Olivia. And the Canadiens were the more rested team.
Still, Edmonton’s depth looked shaky, especially in comparison to Montreal’s contributions from all four lines and the back end.
“They were definitely quicker than us,” McDavid said. “They got the jump on us early and Price was solid all over.
“Playing three games in three-and-half-days is a lot coming out the gate. But not making any excuses for ourselves. We have to be better. We have to win more battles.”
Christine Sinclair scored on a pair of penalty kicks and the Portland Thorns downed OL Reign 2-1 Saturday night to claim the National Women’s Soccer League’s Community Shield in the fall series.
With the win, Portland (3-0-1) locked up the top spot in the fall series. The league created the Community Shield for the series’ best team.
Sinclair scored on a penalty kick late in the first half to put the Thorns up 1-0, but the Reign drew even early in the the second half on Amber Brooks’ goal.
WATCH | Sinclair guides Thorns to victory with brace:
After opening the scoring for Portland in the 1st half with a penalty, Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C., records another goal on a penalty in the 2nd half for a 2-1 win over OL Reign. 0:32
Sinclair scored on a second PK in the 73rd minute. The Canadian national team captain leads all players in the fall series with six goals.
The Reign (0-2-1) wrap up the fall series against the Utah Royals next Saturday, following a match between the Orlando Pride and North Carolina Courage.
Quick thinking from <a href=”https://twitter.com/abrooks22?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@abrooks22</a> and <a href=”https://twitter.com/OLReign?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@OLReign</a> have equalized!<br><br>1-1 | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/RGNvPOR?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#RGNvPOR</a><br><br>Tune in now on <a href=”https://twitter.com/Twitch?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>@Twitch</a>.<a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/NWSLFallSeries?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#NWSLFallSeries</a> | <a href=”https://twitter.com/hashtag/VerizonCommunityShield?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>#VerizonCommunityShield</a> <a href=”https://t.co/dB6tf3csLk”>pic.twitter.com/dB6tf3csLk</a>
The league partnered with Verizon on the Community Shield to provide grants to local small businesses for the top three finishers in the fall series. The Thorns will grant $ 25,000 to Portland’s Mimi’s Fresh Tees.
WATCH | Sinclair opens scoring from the spot:
Christine Sinclair of Burnaby, B.C., scores on a penalty for the Portland Thorns during the 1st half in a match against OL Reign. 0:33
Her face masked and her body tense, Nanami Fujiwara steps aboard the morning train to downtown Tokyo.
She glances nervously at the commuter car, half-filled with men in suits and women dressed for the office. Not everyone’s face is covered.
“It’s scary,” she said. “I don’t want to ride here and I don’t want to go to my company.”
Like many in Japan, she’s afraid of getting infected with the coronavirus. But when it comes to work, Fujiwara has no choice.
Three days a week, her employers expect her to be at her desk, designing for a firm that builds air conditioning systems. She asked to work from home. They said no.
“Bosses want to physically watch over their subordinates,” Fujiwara said. “It’s just tradition.”
Surge in infections
Never mind that Japan is in the middle of a national state of emergency where everyone is requested to stay home and businesses are expected to close or scale back. There’s no real system of enforcement.
Tokyo is experiencing a surge in coronavirus infections that has seen confirmed COVID-19 cases almost triple in the past three weeks, to more than 4,000, and deaths rise to more than 100. Hospital intensive care units and acute care beds are almost all full.
For many companies and their employees, Japan’s rigidly prescribed work culture simply trumps all else. It’s one of several distinct social characteristics constraining the country’s response to the pandemic.
That’s aside from the financial pressures. Many businesses have been reluctant to shut because of lost profits, despite a government support program worth some $ 1.6 trillion Cdn. A common complaint from stores and smaller companies is that the program is poorly targeted and hard to access.
‘We’re not a very flexible people’
People have adjusted some daily routines. A poll by newspaper The Mainichi shortly after the state of emergency was announced found that 86 per cent of respondents were “engaging in greater self-restraint” in some of their activities.
Tokyo’s subway system has reported a ridership drop of around 60 per cent and a major Japan Railways commuter line into the city has almost 70 per cent fewer passengers.
But some things have proven hard to change.
“We’re not a very flexible people,” said Hiroshi Ono, a professor of human resources management at Tokyo’s Hitotsubashi University, who specializes in Japan’s work culture. “There’s only one way to do things here.
“Work has to be done at the company and during certain hours, learning has to take place at school, doctor visits at the hospital.”
Any other way is simply “mind boggling,” he said.
Only 13% of Japanese employees working from home
This culture has long been an integral part of Japan’s traditional system of employment, where work hours are among the longest in the world and allegiance to companies like Toyota or Mitsubishi is part of an unwritten contract: the company takes care of you and your family, you devote your life to the company.
Not coming to work — even during a pandemic — shows “a sign of weakness, a lack of commitment and loyalty,” said Ono.
When the coronavirus hit, some major companies in Japan, including its big carmakers, shut down factories and sent employees home. But most mid-sized companies have not.
An online survey of 20,000 people by Japan’s Persol Research Institute in mid-March found that only 13 per cent of Japanese employees were working from home, with almost 40 per cent reporting that the company “does not allow” teleworking. A further 41 per cent said the technology for working outside the office simply doesn’t exist.
While Japan may have a reputation for high-tech prowess — fast internet connections and robots that serve meals in restaurants or take care of seniors — many business practices are stuck in the last century.
For instance, corporate legal documents still require the red ink of a company’s “hanko” stamp — the equivalent of a signature — which means someone has to be physically present at work to pull it out of a drawer and apply it. No electronic signatures allowed.
Pandemic response has been slowed by many of these “inefficiencies,” said Ono.
Virus a ‘blessing in disguise’
But he calls the coronavirus a “blessing in disguise” because it is exposing many problems Japan has been slow in fixing, such as overwork, excessive bureaucracy and the hanko stamp system, which is now being reviewed by government.
For now though, these obstacles to physical distancing are also causing resentment, not only among workers like Fujiwara, but among small business owners who have shut down in response to government requests.
Koichi Sei closed his bar more than a month ago, but now watches larger firms carrying on. The larger firms may fear losing money, he said, but he already risks going under.
“If everyone at the big companies is still commuting and taking the trains to work, it’s meaningless,” and his small business will be “sacrificed” for nothing, he said.
Afraid to lose face
Medical experts also complain about Tokyo’s slow response to shifting circumstances, rooted in cultural reticence to lose face.
“Traditionally and historically, Japan is not very good at changing the strategy,” said Kentaro Iwata, an infectious disease expert at Kobe University. Even “thinking of a Plan B is a sign of the failure of Plan A,” he said.
Japan’s initial strategy in dealing with the pandemic was to rely on limited contact tracing instead of widespread testing.
But as the infection numbers suddenly grew, public health experts said a much bigger effort was needed -– something the government has only recently implemented, and not nearly as broadly as some other countries.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is heading to northern England on Saturday to meet newly elected Conservative Party legislators in the working class heartland that turned its back on the opposition Labour Party in this week’s election and helped give him an 80-seat majority.
In a victory speech outside 10 Downing Street on Friday, Johnson called for an end to the acrimony that has festered throughout the country since the divisive 2016 Brexit referendum, and urged Britain to “let the healing begin.”
Johnson’s campaign mantra to “get Brexit done” and widespread unease with the leadership style and socialist policies of opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn combined to give the ruling Conservatives 365 seats in the House of Commons, its best performance since party icon Margaret Thatcher’s last victory in 1987. Labour slumped to 203 seats, its worst showing since 1935.
While Johnson was on a victory lap Saturday, Corbyn — who has pledged to stand down early next year — was under fire from within his own party.
Former legislator Helen Goodman, one of many Labour legislators to lose their seat in northern England, told BBC radio that “the biggest factor was obviously the unpopularity of Jeremy Corbyn as the leader.”
Armed with his hefty new majority, Johnson is set to start the process next week of pushing Brexit legislation through Parliament to ensure Britain leaves the EU by the Jan. 31 deadline. Once he’s passed that hurdle — breaking three years of parliamentary deadlock — he has to seal a trade deal with the bloc by the end of 2020.
Concern over immigration
Johnson owes his success, in part, to traditionally Labour-voting working class constituencies in northern England that backed the Conservatives because of the party’s promise to deliver Brexit. Traditional Labour voters in the north and central parts of England deserted the party in droves. During the 2016 referendum, many of those communities voted to leave the EU because of concerns that immigrants were taking their jobs and perceived neglect by the central government in London.
Early in the campaign, pundits said the election would turn on these voters, who were dubbed the “Workington man” after the one-time steel-making community in northwestern England. The Conservatives won Workington on Thursday by more than 4,000 votes. The constituency had supported Labour candidates since 1918, with only one short interruption in the 1970s.
“I think that people have lost hope in Labour,” said Nicki Lawal, 24, who lives in London’s Brixton neighbourhood.
PM won by leaning left and right
Mathew Goodwin, a professor of politics at the University of Kent, said Johnson matched a bit of leaning to the left on the economy with a similar lean to the right on Brexit, migration and crime.
Watch | What Boris Johnson’s win means for the U.K. and its allies:
Boris Johnson’s landslide election victory will push Brexit forward, which will have ripple effects on the increasingly fractured United Kingdom and for Britain’s allies. 6:55
Johnson “appears to have grasped one of the new unwritten laws in politics: It is easier for the right to move left on economics than it is for the left to move right on identity and culture,” he wrote on his blog.
The question now is whether the Conservatives can address the economic and social concerns of these voters and hold on to their support in future elections.
Conversely, some traditionally Conservative-supporting communities in southeastern England flipped to Labour as the pro-EU sentiments of middle class voters outweighed other issues.
Scotland the next flashpoint
Johnson’s election win comes after a 3½-year political deadlock over Brexit, that has effectively paralyzed business in the U.K. Parliament. Johnson is asking the British people to put anger behind them. But with about half of Britain wanting to remain in the European Union, and nationalist sentiment rising in Scotland and Ireland, unity will not be easy.
The next flashpoint for U.K. politics may be Scotland, where the Scottish National Party won 48 of the 59 seats that were up for grabs on Thursday.
SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon delivered the landslide victory with a campaign focused on demands for a second referendum on Scottish independence. Johnson has flatly rebuffed the idea of another vote, saying Scotland already rejected independence in 2014.
Sturgeon argues that the U.K.’s decision to leave the EU against the wishes of the Scottish people has materially changed the landscape. Some 62 per cent of Scottish voters backed remaining in the EU during the 2016 referendum on membership.
Scottish leader drawing up transfer of power plan
“It is the right of the people of Scotland. And you, as the leader of a defeated party in Scotland, have no right to stand in the way,” she said. She plans to publish a detailed case next week for a transfer of power from London that would clear the way for a second Scottish independence vote. Scots voted in 2014 to stay in the UK.
However, Johnson told Sturgeon by phone on Friday he opposed another referendum, prompting Sturgeon to say her political mandate must be respected, “just as he expects his mandate to be respected.”
In Northern Ireland, supporters of a united Ireland won more seats than those in the province who want to remain part of the United Kingdom for the first time since the 1921 partition which divided the British north from the Irish Republic in the south.
Buying more time with EU
Several hundred noisy protesters marched through central London on Friday evening to protest against the election result, disrupting traffic and chanting “Boris Johnson: Not My Prime Minister” and “Boris, Boris, Boris: Out, Out, Out.”
Johnson’s sweeping success will give him room to manoeuvre on such issues, particularly involving the fraught details of Brexit. Jim O’Neill, chair of the Chatham House think-tank , said the size of the Conservative Party victory gives it a clear mandate to execute the first stage of departing the EU by passing the withdrawal bill.
It also allows the government to “explore its future trade relationship with the EU with more time” and extends the transition period, he said. “Even more importantly, in principle, this majority gives the prime minister the leeway to be bold and reveal his true desires for both domestic and global Britain.”
‘Impossible’ for PM to meet promise of EU talks
After Jan. 31, Britain will enter a transition period when it will negotiate a new relationship with the remaining 27 EU states. The outcome of those talks will shape the future of its $ 3.5-trillion economy.
The transition period can run until the end of December 2022 under the current rules, but the Conservatives made an election promise not to extend it beyond the end of 2020.
It will be “absolutely impossible” to negotiate terms of an exit in only one year, said Scotland’s Brexit Secretary Michael Russell. He told CBC News on Saturday that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Europe and Canada took seven years to hammer out.
Russell said holding a referendum on Scottish independence is a “sensible step forward” because Brexit will be financially damaging.
Watch | Michael Russell advocates for a Scottish referendum on independence:
Michael Russell, Scotland’s Brexit secretary, says it’s imperative that Scotland hold a referendum on independence 0:40
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said many within the EU were relieved that Britain would now have a Parliament with a clear majority, highlighting the frustration that European leaders have felt during three years of political logjam in London.
But she said it would be “very complicated” to complete the talks on a new relationship by December 2020.
French President Emmanuel Macron warned Britain on Friday that the more it chose to deregulate its economy after Brexit, the more it would lose access to the EU’s single market.
U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Johnson and said a U.S. trade deal could be more lucrative than any with the EU, the world’s biggest trading bloc. “Celebrate Boris!” Trump said on Twitter.
Andrew Chiu is a bit wobbly as he greets passersby on a busy Hong Kong street, asking them for support in Sunday’s local elections.
The pro-democracy district councillor stands out because of the large white bandage that is taped to the side of his head. The left arm of his eyeglasses dangles in the air where his ear used to be.
He lost it earlier this month, when an attacker bit it off. Witnesses say Chiu was grabbed as he tried to stop a man who had wounded two people with a knife outside a mall. They say the attacker had told his victims that Hong Kong belongs to China. The unidentified man was later reportedly arrested.
Doctors reattached Chiu’s ear, but the damage was too great and he eventually lost it.
It’s one of several violent acts against politicians in the run-up to these contentious local elections.
“The coming Sunday vote is very important because of the power of the Hong Kong people to express our anger to the government,” he told CBC news.
And there’s a lot of anger here.
It was seen most recently in lengthy running street battles, which left some of the city’s prestigious universities damaged, and others shuttered.
Earlier this year, public marches drew more than a million people into the street in mass anti-government rallies.
Molotov cocktails, even arrows, were launched at police, and life in many parts of the special administrative region of seven million people has been seriously disrupted. The economy is now officially in recession.
The spark for the protest movement was an extradition bill allowing people to be more easily sent back to mainland China. Many here saw it as the long arm of Beijing trying to exert ever more control over the region’s semi-autonomous government and courts.
One key issue is greater accountability for the 31,000 strong police force, accused of frequently using excessive force against protesters.
Public opinion polls and conversations on the streets reveal widening distrust between the population and the officers who are supposed to be protecting them. Amnesty for those arrested is another demand on the list, as is a halt to categorizing the protests as riots. Universal suffrage is another key demand.
Susan Henders, a political scientist who teaches at York University in Toronto, is currently in Hong Kong doing research.
Election seen as test for local government
“This election is widely seen as a referendum on the government and particularly how it’s conducted itself in recent months,” she said in an interview.
Sunday’s vote is for hundreds of elected positions on what’s known as District Councils.
There are 1,090 candidates vying for 452 seats. In the 2015 elections, 298 out of 431 seats were won by the pro-establishment camp while the pan-democrats took 126. Seven went to independent candidates.
The 18 separate councils are similar to municipal governments in Canada. They focus on roads, infrastructure, parks and recreation and other local issues.
In other words, the councils don’t have the legal power to address the human rights and major legal issues the pro-democracy camp is fighting for.
However, this is the first election since widespread protests broke out in June, and the vote could send a powerful message to both the higher level of government in Hong Kong, known as the Legislative Council, and to Beijing, which exerts great influence over that body.
With that in mind, reform minded, pro-democracy forces recruited new candidates intent on disrupting the status quo at the District Council level.
Henders said these elections are one more outlet for an increasingly restless population.
“The government has not offered a political way forward, and instead relied on policing, and policing authorized, it would appear, to use very aggressive means.”
She says Canadians should be paying attention, because there are 300,000 Canadian citizens living in Hong Kong.
“Canadians back in Canada should be concerned about their well-being and their rights and freedoms.”
She and many others here will be watching election results closely, as will the Chinese government’s leadership in Beijing.
In a slow, relentless advance, Hurricane Dorian kept pounding at the northern Bahamas early Monday, as one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded left wrecked homes, shredded roofs, tumbled cars and toppled power poles in its wake.
The storm’s top sustained winds decreased slightly to 270 km/h as its westward movement slowed, crawling along Grand Bahama island Monday morning at 2 km/h in what forecasters said would be a daylong assault. Earlier, Dorian churned over Abaco island with battering winds and surf during Sunday.
Information began emerging from the affected islands, with Bahamas Power and Light saying there is a total blackout in New Providence, the archipelago’s most populous island.
“The reports out of Abaco [island] as everyone knows were not good,” company spokesperson Quincy Parker told ZNS Bahamas radio station.
Most people went to shelters as the Category 5 storm approached, with tourist hotels shutting down and residents boarding up their homes. But many people were expected to be left homeless.
“It’s devastating,” Joy Jibrilu, director general of the Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism and Aviation, said Sunday afternoon. “There has been huge damage to property and infrastructure. Luckily, no loss of life reported.”
On Sunday, Dorian’s maximum sustained winds reached 297 km/h, with gusts up to 354 km/h, tying the record for the most powerful Atlantic hurricane to ever make landfall. That equalled the Labour Day hurricane of 1935, before storms were named. The only recorded storm that was more powerful was Hurricane Allen in 1980, with 305 km/h winds, though it did not make landfall at that strength.
Forecasters said Dorian was most likely to begin pulling away from the Bahamas early Tuesday and curving to the northeast parallel to the U.S. Southeast seaboard. Still, the potent storm was expected to stay close to shore and hammer the coast with dangerous winds and heavy surf, while authorities cautioned that it could still make landfall.
Canada’s Global Affairs is advising Canadians to avoid all travel to the Bahamas and to the east coast of Florida, from north of Deerfield Beach to the mouth of the St. Mary’s River.
Early Monday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the eye of the powerful Category 5 storm was virtually parked over Grand Bahama Island — crawling west as it dumped rain and lashed the island with destructive winds.
The centre said a “life-threatening storm surge” could raise water levels by as much as seven metres above normal tide in parts of Grand Bahama Island.
At 8 a.m. ET, the storm was about 50 kilometres east-northeast of Freeport, Grand Bahama Island and about 190 kilometres east of West Palm Beach, Fla.
The flight tracking site FlightAware on Monday listed 990 cancellations of flights heading into or out of Florida airports in Orlando, Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach.
South Carolina evacuation affects 830,000
The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says although the official forecast does not show Dorian making landfall in Florida, the hurricane could deviate from that prediction and move near or over the coast. Florida’s east-central coast may see a “brief tornado” sometime between Monday afternoon and night, the centre said.
The centre also said the likelihood was increasing of strong winds and a dangerous storm surge along the coasts of Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina later this week.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued an order Sunday for the mandatory evacuation of his state’s entire coast. The order, which covers about 830,000 people, was to take effect at noon Monday, at which point state troopers were to make all lanes on major coastal highways one-way heading inland.
“We can’t make everybody happy, but we believe we can keep everyone alive,” McMaster said.
A few hours later, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp ordered mandatory evacuations for the state’s Atlantic coast, also starting at midday Monday.
Authorities in Florida ordered mandatory evacuations in some vulnerable coastal areas. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper warned his state it could see heavy rain, winds and floods later in the week.
Dorian first came ashore Sunday at Elbow Cay in Abaco island at 12:40 p.m. ET, then made a second landfall near Marsh Harbour at 2 p.m.
Catastrophic conditions were reported in Abaco, with a storm surge of five to 5.7 metres.
Video that Jibrilu and government spokesperson Kevin Harris said was sent by Abaco residents showed homes missing parts of roofs, electric lines on the ground and smashed and overturned cars. One showed floodwaters rushing through the streets of an unidentified town at nearly the height of a car roof.
This was just sent to me from a Canadian whose parents are in the Abacos Islands in the Bahamas where Category 5, Hurricane Dorian has made landfall. This video was taken this morning. <br>The National Hurricane Centre says to expect “catastrophic conditions” <a href=”https://t.co/TRa70hUkRb”>pic.twitter.com/TRa70hUkRb</a>
In some parts of Abaco, “you cannot tell the difference as to the beginning of the street versus where the ocean begins,” Prime Minister Hubert Minnis said. According to the Nassau Guardian, he called it “probably the most sad and worst day of my life to address the Bahamian people.”
‘The winds are howling’
Bahamas radio station ZNS Bahamas reported a mother and child on Grand Bahama had called to say they were sheltering in a closet and seeking help from police.
Silbert Mills, owner of the Bahamas Christian Network, said trees and power lines were torn down in Abaco.
“The winds are howling like we’ve never, ever experienced before,” said Mills, who was riding out the hurricane with his family in the concrete home he built 41 years ago on central Abaco.
Jack Pittard, a 76-year-old American who has visited the Bahamas for 40 years, also decided to stay put on Abaco for Dorian, which he said was his first hurricane. A short video from Pittard about 2:30 p.m. Sunday showed the wind shaking his home and ripping off the siding.
The Bahamas archipelago is no stranger to hurricanes. Homes are required to have metal reinforcements for roof beams to withstand winds into the upper limits of a Category 4 hurricane, and compliance is generally tight for those who can afford it. Risks are higher in poorer neighbourhoods, with wooden homes in low-lying areas.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, Dorian is forecast to get to 64 to 80 kilometres off Florida, with hurricane-force wind speeds extending about 56 kilometres to the west.
Elsewhere across the Atlantic, things are looking quite active. NHC is monitoring 4 other disturbances, with 2 or 3 of them likely to become tropical cyclones during the next 5 days. Full outlook: <a href=”https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB”>https://t.co/tW4KeFW0gB</a> <a href=”https://t.co/NYUJyuSxSA”>pic.twitter.com/NYUJyuSxSA</a>
The National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for Florida’s East Coast from Deerfield Beach north to the Georgia state line. The same area was put under a storm surge watch. Lake Okeechobee was under a tropical storm watch.
Mandatory evacuation orders for low-lying and flood-prone areas and mobile homes were in effect starting either Sunday or Monday from Palm Beach County north to at least the Daytona Beach area, and some counties to the north issued voluntary evacuation notices. Weekend traffic was light in Florida despite those orders, unlike during the chaotic run-up to Hurricane Irma in 2017 when the unusually broad storm menaced the entire state.
Ken Graham, director of the hurricane centre, urged people not to bet on safety just because the forecast track had the storm a bit offshore. With every new forecast, “we keep nudging [Dorian’s track] a little bit to the left” — that is, is closer to the Florida coast, Graham said.
Boeing’s 737 Max problem keeps getting worse. The plane has been grounded for months, after Lion Air Flight 610 and Ethiopian Airlines flight 302 both crashed, killing all 346 people aboard the two aircraft. In the aftermath of the Ethiopian Airlines crash, the FAA eventually mandated that the planes stay on the ground while Boeing worked out a fix. That fix has now been delayed again, due to the discovery of another flaw that can lead to the nose of the aircraft being pointed inappropriately downward. “Government pilots discovered that a microprocessor failure could push the nose of the plane toward the ground,” CNN reports, adding that “it is not known whether the microprocessor played a role in either crash.”
This appears to be distinct from the problem with the MCAS system, which is believed to have been critical to both previous crashes. In these events, the planes — which relied on data from a single, potentially faulty angle-of-attack sensor, without a backup sensor — drove the aircraft directly into the ground, despite pilot attempts to override it. The implication of the CNN report is that the microprocessor failure is separate from the AOA sensor failure, but there’s nothing to identify what subsystem the chip is in, or whether there are redundant parts that are supposed to take over the functionality in the event of a failure.
Once again, this will mean additional delays for the 737 Max’s return to the skies. Reuters reports that Boeing will not conduct a recertification flight until July 8, best-case, but that the delays could stretch on for several weeks more. There’s a bit of uncertainty on whether a hardware change might be required. CNN states: “Boeing engineers are trying to determine if the microprocessor issue can be fixed by reprogramming software or if replacing the physical microprocessors on each 737 Max aircraft may be required.”
Apparently, the issue surfaced during deliberate efforts to activate the MCAS system in what sounds like edge case testing. In one of these edge cases, it was not possible to recover the vehicle in an acceptable period of time, presumably due to the microprocessor failure in question. The letter that Boeing officially released states that the FAA has asked it to resolve these issues via a further software change, distinct from the software change it had already planned to make. The writeups from both CNN and Reuters, however, state that Boeing has not determined whether it is p
ossible to actually fix the problem via software update or if a hardware replacement is required.
The Washington Post, meanwhile, points out that Boeing’s safety record has been anything but rosy. In 2015, FAA regulators discovered the company had falsified certifications on hundreds of cargo doors. Mechanics were leaving tools inside plane wings, near the cables that controlled the movements of those wings. Wires were improperly installed on 787s, increasing the risk of a fire. Boeing would repeatedly agree to fix these shortcomings and fail to do so, which led the government to wrap them up into a single global package, fined Boeing $ 12M, and got it to agree to fix the issues in 2015. Boeing specifically “agreed to make significant changes in its internal safety systems and practices for “ensuring compliance” with regulations.”
Despite continued problems with Boeing’s compliance, the FAA waived its right to invoke enforcement penalties last year that would have cost Boeing another $ 12M. Boeing reported a record operating profit in 2018, at $ 4.2B. According to WaPo, Boeing has had major problems following through with its own commitments. An FAA official told the paper that the US Air Force had temporarily ceased taking deliveries of Boeing tankers due to persistent problems with FOD (Foreign Object Debris) being left in or on the aircraft in question. Left-over tools in plane wings would definitely qualify. It took Boeing more than a year to notify the FAA about a software problem that disconnected a critical warning light connected to the MCAS system, for example.
Both Boeing and the FAA have generally signaled satisfaction with the FAA to-date, but there have been questions raised about just how close the manufacturer and its regulatory body have become. The FAA has generally outsourced plane safety inspections to Boeing and other manufacturers, allowing companies to ‘self-certify’ aircraft safety. In the wake of the Lion Air crash, it took the FAA days to decide the 737 Max wasn’t safe to fly after most other countries had already done so. There have been numerous allegations of improper behavior and the FAA has warned Boeing in at least one letter recently that its actions regarding an inspector constituted interference.
Also under discussion are the requirements 737 Max pilots will need to meet when the plane is recertified as airworthy. Boeing has pushed for computer-based training that could be completed on an iPad, while pilot unions and individuals like the “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot, Chelsey Sullenberger, have called for simulator training.
Bungie and Activision have decided to go their separate ways, with Bungie retaining control of the crown jewel in its own empire (and the publishing rights).
“We have enjoyed a successful eight-year run and would like to thank Activision for their partnership on Destiny,” the company writes. “Looking ahead, we’re excited to announce plans for Activision to transfer publishing rights for Destiny to Bungie. With our remarkable Destiny community, we are ready to publish on our own, while Activision will increase their focus on owned IP projects.”
Activision apparently required a commitment to an annual launch cycle for the game, which in turn forced Bungie into development constraints that the company apparently wasn’t happy about, according to Kotaku. It’s been evident for some time that there might be tension between the two companies; Activision took the unusual step of telling the public it wasn’t happy with Destiny 2: Forsaken’s sales back in early November. At the time, the public announcement was seen as raising questions about the future of the game.
This news was well-received among Bungie employees, with champagne corks popping and cheers at the announcement, the report said. Activision has been on a cost-cutting spree of late, including disquieting reports of cost cuts at Blizzard that could impact future game development. It’s not clear how this transition will impact the other two studios at Activision that assist with Destiny development; no announcements have been made about the future of High Moon and Vicarious Visions.
Taking on the challenge of publishing Destiny will be a new experience for Bungie, which will also find itself without a fairly convenient scapegoat. Gamers rarely need much reason to hate on Activision or Bobby Kotick, even if the former has managed to avoid being treated with EA-levels of disdain.
The market, at least, is anything but excited by this news. Activision Blizzard stock fell by 7 percent in after-hours trading on the NYSE. The company has been losing executives of late, with Blizzard CFO Spencer Neumann departing for Netflix and Blizzard CFO Amrita Ahuja taking on a new job at Square (the mobile payment company, not Square Enix the developer). Destiny 2 will remain on Battle.net, at least for now, while Activision retrenches to work on its own native IP, like Call of Duty. This could indirectly bring even more pressure to bear on companies like Blizzard, given that Activision is shedding major franchises and will be looking for revenue sources to replace them.
Canadian tennis player Bianca Andreescu stunned the sports world again by defeating the legendary Venus Williams to reach her first WTA semifinal.
Andreescu, from Mississauga, Ont., won 6-7(1), 6-1, 6-3 over Williams at the ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand.
"I think anything is possible, and I think tonight I did the impossible," she said on the court following her win over the former world No. 1 player. "I don't even know what to say."
"I don't even know what to say!"<br><br>Just enjoy it, <a href="https://twitter.com/Bandreescu_?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@bandreescu_</a> !<a href="https://twitter.com/ASB_Classic?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ASB_Classic</a> <a href="https://t.co/kpITnD3TGZ">pic.twitter.com/kpITnD3TGZ</a>
After being broken in the opening game of the second set, Andreescu reeled off 11 straight games to take control of the match.
"My goal was only to qualify and maybe get a couple of rounds in, but now I beat a couple of top players so who knows? I believed in myself to the end," said Andreescu, who is ranked 152nd in the world and had to go through qualifying to make the tournament. I fought and I really enjoyed myself."
The 18-year-old is riding high just a day after the biggest win of her career, a stunning 6-4, 6-4 victory on Thursday over world No. 3 Caroline Wozniacki in the Auckland tournament, which is considered a warm-up for the Australian Open that begins in just over a week.
Mikael Kingsbury never had so much to lose as on Feb. 12, when he hit the track at the Phoenix Snow Park. As the odds-on favourite in the men's moguls event at the Pyeongchang Olympics, the 26-year-old ski star was well aware that only a victory would meet expectations.
Going second-last in the super final, Kingsbury rose to the occasion. In full control, he nailed a perfect descent that earned him the one title that had eluded him: Olympic champion.
"I was in the position where it was gold or nothing," the athlete from Deux-Montagnes, Que. said of his second Olympic experience.
"For those who follow my sport, even a second place would have been considered a poor performance. Yes, there was pressure but, at the top of the course, I had a really good feeling. And when that's the case, I have confidence and that's always a good sign."
Kingsbury's dream year earns him the Lionel Conacher Award from The Canadian Press as Canada's male athlete of the year.
The Quebec skier was chosen by 30 of the 56 sportswriters and commentators from newsrooms across the country.
He beat out Edmonton Oilers centre Connor McDavid (12 votes), who won the Art Ross Trophy as the NHL's top scorer as well as the Ted Lindsay Award for outstanding player as selected by his peers.
Next on the list was soccer phenom Alphonso Davies with five votes, double Olympic speed skating medallist Ted-Jan Bloeman (3), para-skier Brian McKeever (3), New Jersey Devils winger Taylor Hall (2), and Ottawa Redblacks receiver Brad Sinopoli (1).
"I could have chosen McDavid, as we chose [Sidney] Crosby at one time, but Kingsbury's gold was one of the strongest moments of the Korean games, leading into performances by other Canadian athletes," wrote Le Quotidien's Denis Bouchard.
"No other Canadian athlete dominates their sport as outrageously as Mikael Kingsbury," wrote Jean-Francois Begin of La Presse.
Watch Kingsbury win his 50th World Cup moguls title:
The Deux-Montagnes, Que., skier opened the season by winning his 50th career moguls World Cup title in Ruka, Finland on Friday. 0:44
While Olympic gold was undoubtedly the highlight of his year, Kingsbury continued to dominate the World Cup circuit with seven victories in 10 starts, including three in a row to end the 2017-18 season.
He won two Crystal Globes at the end of the last World Cup season as overall men's freestyle points leader and overall men's moguls leader.
Kingsbury becomes the first skier to win the Lionel Conacher Award, which is named after the multi-sport champion chosen as the top athlete of the first half of the 20th century in 1950.
Golfer Brooke Henderson was awarded the Bobbie Rosenfeld Award as female athlete of the year on Wednesday for the third time. The sports team of the year will be named on Friday.
Earlier this month Kingsbury was also awarded the Toronto Star's Lou Marsh Award for top Canadian athlete.
"It's crazy to have had this much success," Kingsbury said. "It's an almost perfect season. My worst 2018 result was a second place."
"Compared to other sports, like tennis, it's as if I won all the Grand Slam finals."
Nobody in moguls like Mikael
Kingsbury dominates his sport.
In January 2018 Kingsbury set a new record for World Cup wins with his 47th victory. He has 52 victories in 93 starts.
"I kind of feel like I have an aura around me. Without saying I intimidate the other competitors due to my repeated success, I have a great confidence in my abilities, I make few errors and that lets me find little advantages over them," he said.
"But I know I have a big target on my back and they all want to beat me. I've been first in the world for seven years, and every year there are those who say, 'Kingsbury, we're going to push him aside.' It makes the competition even more interesting."
And even if he's won everything, don't expect him to relinquish his throne. Kingsbury says there's still plenty to motivate him.
"I love to win and I still want to win, but my motivation isn't necessarily found in results," he said. "I'm aiming above all to reach my full potential, to innovate in my sport, to try new jumps. I want to see how far I can go."
"While perfection doesn't exist in my sport, my goal is to get as close as possible to it and to push the limits, in speed as well as the execution of my jumps."